Marlon Parker joins Mxit to spearhead social democracy

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Africaโ€™s biggest social network intent on expanding its social development programmes to affect large scale social change across the continent

Marlon Parker, founder of Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) and, avid social change and e-democracy campaigner, has joined Mxit to head up its social impact vehicle, called Mxit Reach.

Marlon Parker at TEDx Amsterdam

Mxit Reach has, over the years, developed numerous platforms that help young South Africans learn, interact and cope with the challenges that they face in everyday life.

Although Parker worked closely with Mxit to develop some of these programmes, his appointment to head of Mxit Reach will allow the platform to substantially improve how it allows NGOโ€™s and social entrepreneurs opt in to the system.

Parker is globally recognised for his work in developing mobile and pc based programmes that assists governments, NGOs and communities help people live better lives.

โ€œAll my life, Iโ€™ve wanted to be part of an organisation that has access to the type of technology and broad split of community that will allow us to affect the biggest change. Mxit has over 50 million users across the continent and beyond, and with over 10 million active users in South Africa alone, it provides a unique opportunity to extend the good work that we are doing,โ€ says Parker.

โ€œEvery time I speak at an international conference, there is talk about how other countries can help Africa. I think that Mxit Reach has the potential to allow Africa to help Africa, which is really exciting.โ€

Mxit Reach already offers a number of social impact tools. One such programme is a portal, on Mxit, where young adults receive counselling for drug and substance abuse, physical or mental abuse, dept management, depression and general counselling. This platform was built and managed by Marlon and the team at RLabs in the past.

Other initiatives that fall within Mxit Reach are a South African curriculum based learning platforms that provides maths and science learners with CSIR-approved tutors, subject material and quizzes; a smart citizen platform that simplifies youth rights and promotes their responsibility in creating the future of South Africa, a platform that helps people in Indonesia find safe hospitals, meeting points and help during natural disasters and a number of research based projects that highlight the concerns of young adults in South Africa.

The list of governments, organisations and NGOs that Mxit already works with is impressive. These include the National Planning Commission, the World Health Organisation, UN, Unicef, Harvard University, the Department of Basic Education, Department of Energy, the US Presidency and many more. Parker plans to increase these to include many more globally recognised organisations and governments.

โ€œWe are very lucky and humbled to have him join our team. For some of us, the potential to have a positive impact on our community is the reason we get out of bed. Mxit Reach is truly a platform built by Africans, for Africa, and Marlon is the best man in the world to take it to the next level.โ€ says Alan Knott-Craig, Mxit CEO.

With over 50 million users, Mxit is the biggest social network in Africa.

“This is a proud moment for me as Marlon Parker used to be my lecturer and has had a substantial impact on the way I do things. He will now be able to deduct 50 million from his ‘2 billion 1 lifetime’ goal :)” – Rafiq Phillips ๐Ÿ™‚

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